Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels

the last Wednesday of every month at noon and 7 p.m. on AM 920

Each month, former Indiana Governor and current Purdue President Mitch Daniels chats with WBAA News Director Stan Jastrzebski about higher education and Purdue's place in the collegiate landscape.

Listen for new episodes of the program at the end of each month and send any questions you'd like us to ask President Daniels to: news@wbaa.org.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

In his yearly commencement address, Purdue President Mitch Daniels urged graduates to help stop the tribalism that’s plaguing the country. He also repeatedly mentioned how they could use the wealth they’ll generate to benefit society. But on this month’s conversation with him, he disagrees with the notion there’s a wealth gap in America, saying the statistics have been trumped up.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Shortly after we taped this month’s conversation with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, the school’s trustees announced he would stay on as president until at least 2021, with year-to-year contracts after his current deal ends.

As you’ll hear, the president didn’t let on during our discussion that the new contract was in the works, but he does say some interesting things about whether it’ll be him or his successor who ends the school’s tuition freeze.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Modern college classes practically require internet access. Students do research and answer online polls, but Purdue University is finding that Netflix and online gaming are taking up an unexpectedly high amount of bandwidth. So the school is considering limiting WiFi in classrooms.

On this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation with Mitch Daniels, what’s a school to do in the internet age? Force students to -- GASP -- take paper notes?

Jae Lee / WBAA News

One of the big themes this year at Purdue University is tracking. The school plans to better track how efficient its business process are. However, implementation of a new human capital management system has already incurred at least a half-year’s worth of delays.

Employees are being asked to track their health more closely, and are being incentivized to exercise by being offered small discounts on health insurance. But how is the school tracking whether people actually go to the gym?

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Although Purdue has chosen an official name for its online University, the so-called “Purdue Global” still hasn’t received final approval from the school’s accreditation agency, the Higher Learning Commission.

In fact, Purdue officials expected to receive feedback from the HLC weeks ago, but still haven’t.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

A funny thing happened when Purdue President Mitch Daniels wrote a recent editorial for the Washington Post. The article came with the headline: “Is anyone ever wrong anymore,” and hundreds of commenters on the websites of various papers that ran the opinion piece tossed the question back at the former governor and appointee of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

As the Higher Learning Commission, a regulatory body charged with accrediting colleges, gets closer to making recommendations about Purdue’s proposed merger with Kaplan University, the heat on Purdue President Mitch Daniels is increasing.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has called Purdue’s leader out specifically on Twitter, saying he’s misleading people about the deal.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

When white supremacist literature began appearing on Purdue University’s campus, President Mitch Daniels said he didn’t want to spend time giving the promoters any more notice than they deserved.

But by one account, there have now been more than half-a-dozen incidents of hate speech or threatening actions on campus, and the campus community is putting increasing pressure on the president to take a side, rather than falling back on the school’s broad free speech policy.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

At the beginning of this academic year, Purdue President Mitch Daniels sent a letter to the campus community in which he said Purdue would not stand for the kind of violence that struck Charlottesville, Virginia – another college town – just before the school year began.

But he’s also said that much of the violence on American college campuses in the last couple years has been instigated by left-wing student groups.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

A recent study shows Republicans -- the group that elected Purdue University President Mitch Daniels to two terms as governor -- have a souring view of whether higher education is worth it anymore.

So on this edition of WBAA's Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels, we ask him why conservatives might see college as less of a good influence, even as Democrats see it as more and more worthwhile.

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